I hear people say that they want to use bottles so that their husband/partner can bond with baby by feeding the baby a bottle. I’ve heard this as the reason from people who decided to feed formula, people who decided to exclusively pump, and people who decided to breastfeed but give bottles too.
We used a bottle occasionally with Sweets to keep her used to it before she started daycare (Munchkin never took a bottle), but my husband did not feel that it was a bonding experience, just a chore, and we would not have done it if I wasn’t going back to work. Maybe his opinion was formed as a result of having never fed Munchkin a bottle, so he knew he could bond with Sweets without a bottle too. He preferred other activities, such as holding, rocking, bathing, and playing with her for bonding. There are so many ways for a father to bond with his baby besides giving bottles.
Here are a few ideas (Note that mothers can also use all of these techniques, whether breastfeeding or not):
- Hold baby on your chest
- Take your shirt off – hold baby skin to skin
- Sit with knees up and baby facing you on legs
- Look into baby’s eyes
- Rock baby
- Talk to baby
- Sing to baby
- Dance with baby
- Read to baby
- Play with baby
- Get down on the floor with baby
- Kiss and hug baby
- Touch /caress/cuddle baby
- Wear baby
- Go outside with baby
- Bathe baby
- Sleep with/near baby
- Let baby sleep in your arms
- Change baby’s diaper
- Feed baby solids (when old enough)
So go ahead and breastfeed, and don’t worry about your partner needing to give baby bottles just in order to bond. Your partner will be able to find many other ways to bond with baby.
I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!
You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.
(Visit NPN for the code to place on your blog.)